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Adventure Films are exciting stories, with new experiences or exotic locations. Adventure films are very similar to the action film genre, in that they are designed to provide an action-filled, energetic experience for the film viewer.
They can include traditional swashbucklers, serialized films, and historical spectacles (similar to the epics film genre), searches or expeditions for lost continents, "jungle" and "desert" epics, treasure hunts, disaster films, or searches for the unknown.

The adventure film reached its peak of popularity in 1930s and 1940s Hollywood
Key Players (Directors/Writers/Actors/Producers etc)

Michael Curtiz


Michael Curtiz was an Academy award winning Hungarian-American film director. His most famous work in Adventure genre was The Adventure of Robin Hood, Captain Blood and casablanca (not an Adventure film).

Sir David Lean

The British director Sir David Lean was best remembered for The Bridge on the River Kwai 91957) and Lawrence of Arabia (1962). He was voted 9th greatest film director of all time in the British Film Institute Sight and Sound "Directors Top Directors" poll 2002. Lean has four films in the top eleven of the British Film Institute's Top 100 British Films.

Merian C. Cooper and Ernest B. Schoedsack

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Merian C. Cooper and Ernest B. Schoedsack, co-directed the greatest and most famous classic adventure-fantasy film King Kong (1933). Interesting fact, Merian C. Cooper was an American aviator in the Air Force.

Harrison Ford

Harrison Ford is considered as the best actors of Adventure genre, he is famous for the first Star Wars trilogy, India Jones film series and Bladerunner. In 1997, Ford was ranked No.1 in Empire's "The Top 100 Movie Stars of All Time" list.

Errol Flynn


The Australian actor Errol Flyn was know for romantic swashbluckler films. He stars in The adventure of Robin Hood, The Charge of the Light Brigade, The sea hawk and Objective, Burma!. Flynn had a reputation for womanising, consumption of alcohol and brawling. His lifestyle caught up with him in November 1942 when two under-age girls accused him of rape.

Johnny Depp
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John Christopher "Johnny" Depp II plays an important part in demonstrating the pirate side of Adventure genre. Most famous adventure films is the Pirates of the Caribbean series. He has won the Golden Globe Award and Screen Actor Guild award for Best Actor.

Articles of Analysis/ Links - a detailed history of Adventure films - selection of greatest adventure of film - How to create the perfect Adventure film, what is needed.



The Mark of Zorro - 1920
The Mark of Zorro - 1920


Swash-The first major form of adventure film was the swashbuckler with energetic Hollywood, beefcake action-heroes in historically atmospheric settings of the 18th or 19th centuries. Swashbucklers included lavish sets, costumes, and weapons of the past, and were often built upon action scenes of sea battles, castle duels, sword and cutlass fighting, etc., and the romancing of damsels in distress.


Cutthroat Island - 1995
Cutthroat Island - 1995

In the 80s and 90s, the pirate-themed film was unsuccessfully revived again and again.Such as; Island (1980), The Pirate Movie (1982) aka The Pirates of Penzance and Cutthroat Island (1995). There was one major exception to the multiple financial disasters - director Gore Verbinski's updated, thrilling and effective Pirates of the Caribbean

Tarzan Adventure

Tarzan and His Mate - 1934
Tarzan and His Mate - 1934

The 26 Tarzan books of Edgar Rice Burroughs became the subject matter for a long series of vine-swinging, ape-man adventures set in the jungle. Burroughs' first story (in 1912) appeared in the October issue of All-Story Magazine, and was later novelized in 1914. The threats of Western encroachment by white treasure-hunters, ferocious wild animals, and hostile native tribal life were typical elements of most jungle adventures. 12 films were made from 1832 to 1948.

King Arthur and the Round Table


Many adventure epics have been based on the legend of King Arthur, fulfilling the needs of Hollywood for films with heroes (and heroines), a quest, and light vs. darkness. In some senses, the King Arthur films were swashbucklers in disguise. 24 films were made on this subject.

memorable indiana jones quotes
memorable indiana jones quotes

Marion: “Indiana Jones. I always knew some day you’d come walking back through my door.”(Raiders Of The Lost Ark)

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Denham: Oh no, it wasn't the airplanes.It was beauty killed the beast.

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Gollum: We wants it, we needs it. Must have the precious. They stole it from us. Sneaky little hobbitses. Wicked, tricksy, false!